CNA before RN - page 6

What do you guys think of being a CNA before you become an RN?... Read More

  1. by   guislander
    I am currently working as a nurse tech (which is similar to a cna) and have worked as a cna in a nusring home. I am one semester away from graduation. My biggest problem at this point with working as a cna is that I am frustrated I can't do more for my nurses, even though I know how. I have been checked off on all proceedures and have passed meds, done assessments, careplans, complicated dressings in my clinicals. My frustration is watching the nurses run around like chickens with their heads cut off and not being able to help them even though I know how. I took the nurse tech position because it was supposed to transition into working as an RN, but afterwards have found my unit treats nurse techs as cnas and doesn't do any transitioning or take new grads. So when I graduate I have to start over on a new unit.

    It is benefitial to work as a cna in the early part of clinicals, but toward the end of school I would recommend a position with as much responsiblity as you are qualified for.
  2. by   onconurseRT
    YES- Absolutely- Without a doubt and I believe that it should be mandatory!

    I have seen way toooooo many student nurses that are in their last clinicals and do not know how to change a bed and give a bath and refuse to learn it! I was a CNA while getting my BSN and would not give up all that experience for anything.
    As a CNA you can either 1. work as a CNA which is fine or 2. Work as CNA and every opportunity you get watch, participate, listen and learn. You will see the type of RN you want to be and the type you are scared of. The way I looked at it for 6 years I listened, watched, participated and learned and many things in nursing school were very easy for me as a result of that. Ask many questions of that RN on the floor that is willing to answer and any doctors around that want to share any advice/knowledge.
    There were a few physicians at a previous place I worked that were known to be "rude" (imagine that!):uhoh21: and some even said that they would not allow new nurses to take care of their patients. Well.... I found the IN!!! I appproached one thoracic surgeon in a professional manner and requested any possible opportunity he had for me to participate. I just knew that he would bite my head off, laugh at me or ignore me.. but I was wrong. Since that point he taught me sooo many things, allowed me to observe in the OR with him, and was not rude at all-- and a couple other md's followed suit. When I graduated he actually congratulated me with a big hug and never said a word about me taking his patients as a new RN. As with anything, what you put in is a good indicator of what you get out of it- unless you work for a bad place. Good luck.
  3. by   Paula7
    [font="comic sans ms"]my school requires it so i'm in the process right now. first clinical is tomorrow! i'm scared! :uhoh21: good luck!!
    [font="comic sans ms"]
    like some said, i think it's a good idea. i'm just scared that it will lead me away from nursing. better to know now than later i guess!
  4. by   steward-nurse
    I dont know about other places, but Milwaukee Area Technical College in Milwaukee WI requires that you be a CNA before you can take their RN course. Personally I feel that it is a smart idea because this way you really know what the inner workings of the industry is like before you go and invest thousands of dollars of student loans only to find out that nursing isnt for you. Not only that, but most hospitals and nursing homes will pay for their CNA's to go back to school if they sign a contract stating for each of year that they pay for, you owe them one year of service after you graduate.
  5. by   Commanderzoom
    The nurses I've worked with who were not CNAs before or during nursing school are not people I'd want taking care of me and they're not people I like to work with. They have no bedside manner and treat their CNAs like slaves because they don't seem to understand how taxing the work is.

    I'm not saying everyone is like that, but the people I've worked with have been.
  6. by   Commanderzoom
    I really don't see how being a CNA first is a waste of time or money. You can get your certification through a nursing home or sometimes even at a hospital while working there, so you're actually being paid to take the course. You're bringing home a paycheck. I've never heard of a nursing facility that doesn't offer health insurance. How on Earth is that a waste of time or money?
  7. by   Scrubby
    I don't believe it should be made mantatory to be a CNA before RN but I agree that it certainly helps you feel more comfortable working with patients. I was a CNA for 8 months and AIN for a year before becoming an RN and I noticed that those of us with clinical experience had struggled less than those with no experience during grad year.
  8. by   cutaneousflower
    I think everyone should go for there CNA licence before you become an RN but after you graduate i recomend not working in a nursing home or a hospital right off the bat. I worked in a nursing home for about 3 months after I became a CNA and it was awful, they treat ppl like there only there so they can make money, and thats not right, if your going to become a CNA make sure you want to take care of ppl before you think its a good job for you otherwise go for you RN because CNA's should be kind and good hearted people, not just anyone can hack it. Home health care is the best way to go if your CNA, it gives elderly people a chance to stay home, gives the person caring for them more of a chance to get to know them and its better for there health.
  9. by   bluemorningglory
    Quote from NanSeeH

    In my daughters case:
    My daughter is a CNA working full-time in LTC. She's been a CNA since she was 16yrs old. Her plan was CNA,LVN,RN; in her high school she was able to do her aid training and LVN prep courses. Now that she has graduated she is rethinking her plan. In her case working as an aid turned her off to nursing. But, it is not the work of an aid or nurse. It is the nurses. She loves her job and residents. She is young and impressionable. The majority of the RN's at her facility do not leave the nurses station. The RN's who took the time to get to know her are filling her head with stories about "how they remember when they thought they'd make a difference, improve healthcare, etc..." and then crush her dreams and aspirations with their version of a burnt out reality. Still, I have faith that she will find her way.
    I became an LNA(same thing) and this is slowly happening to me. In fact, I might leave my current job because the majority of the RNs I work with are such a joyless bunch and I do not want their negative attitudes to deter me from my goal. Still, I am glad I got my LNA
  10. by   Chamorrita671
    I would advise that anyone wishing to become an RN take a program for CNA. It won't hurt... only benefit you and make you have an advantage over the other students. I, myself, am certified as a Nurse's Aide and I love it. I am in the process of becoming a Certified Medical Administrative Assistant, Certified Medical Transcriptionist, and enrolled in a HUC (Health Unit Coordinating) class. I have no intentions of becoming a nurse! I am content with being a CNA... considering we spend the most time with our residents. I love what I do... I have a passion for it and although continuing up the ladder of success is somthing I want, I don't see myself as an LVN or RN. I'm 21 years old and am confused as to what I want to do ultimately in my life... perhaps becoming some type of doctor? I am undecided, but what I do know is that I am glad I choose the CNA program. It is the best thing I have done positive in my life. =]
  11. by   RonnieDita
    I am in my CNA training right now. I think that becoming a CNA first, especially in this economy, is super beneficial. Any additional experience you can add to your resume will only further your chances of having a resume that catches people's eyes. You want to be sure for yourself and your employer that you are dedicated to your skill. In this economy it is crucial. Obviously just having real world nursing care experience will help you in many ways. I would never think it is a waste of time, especially if you haven't started nursing school yet because many schools look at CNA experience as an A+ for admissions.
  12. by   backatit2
    I'm a licensed teacher with a bachelor's degree in education. I recently decided to go back to school for a BSN so I can be a RN. After making the decision, I registered for a CNA class. The class coordinator spoke to me after the class's information session about why I was taking the class at this point. I told her I plan to be a RN and want to get as much hands on experience in the medical field as I can. I COULD just go through school and go directly into being a RN, but I enjoy "getting my hands dirty." I realize it's not the most pleasant job, but I think I will be able to relate to my co-workers (CNA's) better when I'm a RN. Plus, it raises eyebrows that someone with a college education is willing to "start at the bottom" - it raised the class coordinator's brows enough to speak to me after class.

    I don't think it's NECESSARY, but it shows you're willing to work - that's for sure.
  13. by   nursetobesomeday
    I am a newby to this forum. I have a few questions for all. I have a AA in Healthcare Administration and currently completing my BS in Healthcare Administration. I will start the CNA program in a month. After I complete the CNA program, I want to get into the LPN program. Can someone tell me how to get prepared for the initial testing to get into the program as well as other books that I will need to study to get through the first two blocks?